Clare Malone

Clare Malone is a freelance writer and member of the editorial staff of The New Yorker. Her work has appeared in The American Prospect, The Daily Beast, Slate, Bloomberg View, and Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland Anthology. She is a former Prospect web editor.

Recent Articles

Francis I, a Jesuit Pope

AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia W e are living in a golden age of information. Any newshound or junkie will tell you so. More and more, the layers of position and personage that constitute establishment influence are being peeled back to their tendons, revealing the innermost workings of power. The wry cynicism of Twitter has become the lingua franca of information brokers. Public statements are easily picked apart and the official stagecraft of a flag-pinned lapel, a rolled-up shirtsleeve, an of-the-people photo op are all viewed as perfunctory gestures, rote and largely meaningless. The election of a new pontiff, quite literally a news event gleaned from smoke signals, lands on our doorstep and we are confounded—what sort of man is this Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis I? What will his platform be? What meanings should we divine about this man we’ve only just met, waving at us from a balcony? When symbolism is all you have, as it is with the successor to St. Peter, it becomes a...

How "The Bachelor" Explains the Real World of Women

Forget falling in love, the show says a whole lot more about our hidden anger

I t’s March in America, and if you are any kind of average citizen in this plugged-in, un-buckled, vegged-out nation, you’ve been soothing your winter malaise with a tsunami of television watching. You might even be seeking a little insight into the human experience, tuning into HBO and Showtime for their critically lauded helpings of suspense, hard-to-watch sex, and pathos. But there is a show, neither subtle nor intellectually sophisticated nor on cable, which contains greater nuggets of insight into the most written-about, lusted-after, projected-upon creature of American popular life—the modern woman—than premium-channel dramas ever offer. ABC’s The Bachelor, behind all the beefcake and buoyant breasts, unsparingly depicts the central struggles of women’s lives—and no, that doesn’t mean fighting for a guy. While the quest for true love might be the raison d’être of the show, it’s the prickly bramble of societal expectations, bilious intra-sex competition, and internal crescendos...

Not a Shot in Hell

Flickr/Catholic Church of England and Wales
Flickr/M.Mazu Pope Benedict XVI waves to the crowd as he arrives for an open-air mass in the Terreiro do Paso in Lisbon on May 11, 2010. D istilled to their essence, elections turn on the rigidity of numbers, concrete and comforting, imposed onto the chaos of human opinion. We stew when they do not go our way, but in these matters, majorities rule, minorities shout, and votes rarely occur without the employment of cajoling and cunning by candidates. The same will hold true when, following the February 28 resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, a papal conclave convenes and the College of Cardinals confines itself to the Sistine Chapel until the next pontiff is chosen. Cue images of white smoke issuing from chimneys as crimson-robed old men cast their ballots, all set to a dark, baroque soundtrack. As mesmerizing or as laughable as the ritual may seem—true to form, on issues involving the Church, opinion is divided—the outcome of this most special of elections inarguably affects not only the...

A Critical Look at the Art of George W. Bush

Smoking Gun
Whatever your political leanings may be, you have to sympathize with the Bush family today as a sentient being existing in the Internet age after a hacker leaked a ream of their correspondence to The Smoking Gun . Y ou probably share too much personal information over e-mail (can I get an amen, Davey P .?) and God knows that G-chat holds enough secrets to end half the relationships in the United States (that’s a conservative estimate). George W. Bush George W. Bush But if there is one good thing this act of hack hath wrought, it is a look inside the mind of former president George W. Bush through his art. Apparently #43 (as he signs some of his paintings ) sent pictures of a couple of his works-in-progress to his sister via email, which is actually kind of sweet. Bush was never one for subtlety, and this is apparent in his work. Fittingly and in keeping with the kind of intense self-obsession that makes men run for president, both paintings that come from the hack are self-portraits...

The Geography of Abortion Access

Mapping the national decline in abortion providers

Flickr/womenscampaignforum
As a collective unit, Americans are pretty keen on the civics-class idea that life in the 6,106,012 square miles of God’s green earth that is the USA is more or less equitable for the 313,847,465 people who have hunkered down to live on the craggy coasts, fruited plains, and purple mountains filled with majesty. We’ve got proportional representation in Congress, a legal system that presumes innocence before guilt, and the ability to walk into any 7-Eleven to get a Slurpee and slice of pizza that will cost you $4 and a year of your life, which has to say something about the level playing field we’ve got going, right? But as we mark the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade , the truth is that access to abortion isn’t anywhere close to equitable for women around the country. In fact, things are worse in certain parts of the U.S. than they were in the 1970s and 1980s. In nearly every state, the total number of abortion providers has dropped since 1978—even in traditionally liberal havens like...

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